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A beaver in the River Otter, Devon, feeds on an overhanging willow branch. Photo: David Land via Devon Wildlife Trust.

Devon's beavers will stay wild and free

Oliver Tickell

28th January 2015

Natural England announced today that the wild beavers living on Devon's River Otter will be allowed to remain free under a 're-introduction' licence granted to Devon Wildlife Trust. more...
If only badgers could read. Photo: jayneandd (CC BY 4.0).

Fail - 2014 badger cull didn't kill enough badgers to be effective

Rosie Woodroffe

20th January 2015

Sneaked out just before Christmas, Defra's assessment of the 2014 badger cull inspired NFU leaders to claim 'success', writes Rosie Woodroffe. But the figures indicate the precise reverse: that too few badgers were killed to be effective against bovine TB, indeed the cull may even help to spread the disease. more...
Coal mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Photo: Stephen Codrington via Wikimedia Commons.

Legal challenge puts coal mining's climate blame on trial

Samantha Hepburn

21st January 2015

A legal challenge has been launched against what would be Australia's biggest coal mine, writes Samantha Hepburn. If it succeeds, all future coal mine assessments will have to include the impacts of the resulting CO2 emissions on Australia's most important nature sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef. more...
4WDs and tourists in, tribal people out - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, where the events of Kipling's  'Jungle Book' take place. Photo: © Survival.

India: 'Jungle Book' tribes illegally evicted from tiger reserve

The Ecologist

14th January 2015

Indigenous forest dwellers in India's iconic Kanha Tiger Reserve have suffered another round of illegal forced evictions at the hands of the country's Tiger Conservation Authority - a move that is threatening the future of the tigers themselves. more...
A peatland fire smoulders in the peat of a former swamp forest cleared for commercial agriculture in Indonesia. Photo: Ryan Woo / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Burnable: peat bogs' 850bn tonnes of carbon

Tim Radford

12th January 2015

Human exploitation of peatlands has led to some of the biggest fires on Earth, including one in Indonesia that released 2.5 Gt of carbon, writes Tim Radford. A new study calculates that the world's peatlands contain almost a trillion tonnes of carbon at growing risk of burning. more...
Old Bighorn ram on the banks of the North Fork of the Shoshone River after eating some of the first green grass of spring. Photo: Yellowstone Gate via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Who are the real 'eco-terrorists' on America's public lands?

George Wuerthner

27th January 2015

Ranchers can deliberately abuse public land and the wildlife that lives on it at will, writes George Wuerthner, confident that any breaches of the law are likely to be overlooked. But it's another thing altogether if you're trying to protect that land from destructive exploitation. Why the double standard? more...
Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus, in Glendale, CA. Photo:  David Levinson via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Monarchs may win 'endangered species' protection

The Ecologist

6th January 2015

With Monarch butterfly numbers down by 90% in 20 years - largely as a result of GMO crops in key feeding areas - the US Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the insect's status with a view to granting it legal protection under the Endangered Species Act. more...
Bonobo group hug. Photo:  LaggedOnUser via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Make 2015 the Year of the Bonobo!

Dr Susan Block

5th January 2015

We humans have much to learn from our kissing cousins, the peaceful, empathic, playful, sensual and highly sexual Bonobos, writes Susan Block. Rather than play out the myth of ancestral 'killer apes', better follow the 'Bonobo Way', and extend our love to all living beings and Earth herself. more...
Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) by Noel Reynolds via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

The other reason I joined UKIP - to save our nightingales!

Mark Reckless MP

1st January 2015

When Tory MP Mark Reckless jumped ship to join UKIP last September, one of his reasons - missed by mainstream media - was his outrage at Medway Council's plan to build 5,000 houses on an internationally important sanctuary for nightingales, after ministers tipped the wink that they would 'green-light' the scheme. more...
England's nightingales have suffered a 90% population crash in 40 years, but Medway Council has decided that its 'protected' SSSI sanctuary is fair game for development. Photo: John Bridges / RSPB.

Nightingales at risk as housebuilding threatens 'protected' SSSI breeding site

Robin McKie, the Guardian Environment

1st January 2015

Disaster threatens England's nightingales, already down 90% in 40 years, if ministers fail to block a plan to build 5,000 homes on SSSI breeding site in Kent. But as Robin McKie writes, the government is showing no sign of intervening, as campaigners warn of an 'open season' for development on our most important wildlife sites. more...
London Mayor Boris Johnson and actress Barbara Windsor enjoy a street party in Tower Hamlets with the Rocky Park Urban Growers - a local project to plant vegetables and transform a neglected space in the community.

Boris progresses 'Greater London National Park'

The Ecologist

23rd December 2014

London Major Boris Johnson has taken a key first step towards a new Greater London National Park to safeguard the city's green spaces, waterways and natural treasures - and open them up for people to enjoy. more...
Mind who you call stupid ... Palaeolithic men and tiger, Africa, 100,000 - 2,000,000 years ago. Image: via cantabriatotal.com.

Dear Carl, it's time to rethink Homo 'sapiens'

Dr Gianluca Serra

26th January 2015

In this imaginary letter to the father of modern taxonomy and ecology, Carl Linnaeus, about the current status of life on Earth, Gianluca Serra suggests renaming the human species from the self-satisfied 'wise' to 'obtuse' - if only to spare us from the ridicule we so richly deserve for our collective insanity. more...

natural world: 1/25 of 822
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A female brown bear with three yearlings in Gutulia National Park in SE Norway. Bears and other carnivores do not only live in protected areas - Europe lacks enough true wilderness for that model of conservation. Instead, humans and wildlife must coexist.

Europe's bears are back!

Jocelyn Timperley

21st December 2014

If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise, writes Jocelyn Timperle - Europe's bears are are on the increase, with 17,000 of them at large, along with 12,000 wolves, 9,000 lynx and 1,250 wolverines. Moreover these carnivore populations are co-existing with people with remarkably few problems. more...
Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

2014 badger cull failed - but the cull goes on

Oliver Tickell

18th December 2014

England's 2014 badger cull has failed to meet key targets for effectiveness with such low numbers of animals shot that TB spread is likely to be increased. But Defra boss Liz Truss insists the cull will go on regardless. more...
Azure damselflies. Photo: Paul Ritchie via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Election 2015 - our chance to campaign for nature and wellbeing

Jenny Jones

3rd January 2015

Despite a raft of legislation to protect our wildlife, 60% of our key species are in decline, writes Jenny Jones. That's why we need a new and positive approach, going beyond protection to rebuilding flourishing, sustainable wildlife populations. And people too will see the benefits - in our own as is our health and wellbeing. more...
Making mud pies - no instruction manual needed. Photo: Jim Purbrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Learning with Nature and the nature of play

Martin Spray

28th January 2015

A new book aims to get children off their mobile phones and back where they belong: in the great outdoors. It's packed with well thought-out, purposeful activities to get children interacting with nature, but Martin Spray wonders: is it all trying too hard? Has the essential nature of 'play' somehow been forgotten? more...
Rooms with views ... but where's the vision? European Commission photo by Bruno Coelho via Flickr.

Europe on the brink - green future or industrial wasteland?

Oliver Tickell

12th December 2014

The EU faces a choice: a green, democratic future of clean prosperity and social justice? Or a dirty future of corporate domination with resurgent nuclear power, expanding fossil fuels, GMO agriculture and weak human and environmental protection? Junckers' Commission represents the latter. We must assert our own vision - or there will be little worth staying in for. more...
The garbage that builds up incessantly on the Praia de Achados beach presents formidable obstacle to loggerhead turtles seeking nesting sites. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Over 268,000 tonnes of ocean plastic - neglect it at our peril

Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull

11th December 2014

The oceans are awash with plastic, write Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull, with dire effects on marine wildlife mistaking it for food. But it's not just big animals like basking sharks, turtles and albatrosses that suffer. The very worst damage may be caused by particles too small for the eye to see, and the toxic chemicals that cling to them. more...
An English badger cub, innocent as summer days are long. Photo: Peter Burnage via Flickr.

Badger cubs to be shot in new 'summer cull' plan

Damian Carrington / the Guardian

10th December 2014

England's 2015 trial badger cull will be moved to summer, writes Damian Carrington - when cubs are numerous and easy to shoot. The surprise move follows 2014's failed autumn culls, which missed their minimum kill targets. more...
Precious nature: Snakeshead fritillaries and dandelions on North Meadow, Cricklade - an uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres that contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr.

Rallying for wildlife - we need a Nature and Wellbeing Act

Martin Harper / RSPB

9th December 2014

MPs will be lobbied today by wildlife supporters desperately concerned at the declining state of Britain's nature, writes Martin Harper. Despite clear warnings that both 'protected' sites and threatened species are faring badly, politicians find it all too easy to look the other way. Hence the need for a Nature and Wellbeing Act. more...
Stephen Corry. Portrait by Wolfgang Schmidt / Survival.

Stephen Corry: conservation must work with, not against, indigenous peoples

Alice Bayer

29th November 2014

From the creation of the very first national parks and game reserves, 'conservation' has always been about repressing and expropriating indigenous tribes, Survival International director Stephen Corry told Alice Bayer. And despite all the evidence that indigenous peoples are the best wildlife managers, old attitudes die hard ... more...
No neonics here: organic Brussels sprouts from Home Farm, Nacton. Photo: Nick Saltmarsh via Flickr.

Farming for profit? Or for people, nature, health, wellbeing and human survival?

Colin Tudge

19th November 2014

Farming today is well on the way to becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the agro-chemical-biotech industry, writes Colin Tudge. Defra and the European Commission are all too keen to make it so, reflecting the interests of an agro-oligarchy obsessed with profits and growth at all costs. But there is an alternative. Join the 'real farming' agrarian renaissance ... more...
MaJiKer. Photo: MaJiKer.

NORTH: spellbinding folk with a green mission

Laurence Rose

4th December 2014

Traditional melodies collected from Nordic countries and filtered through MaJiKer's unique sonic imagination are raising awareness, and funds, for nature conservation. He spoke to Laurence Rose about a four-year labour of love inspired by nature and the sounds of the high North. more...
Farnes East candidate MCZ. Photo: Jean Luc Solandt via MCS.

A Marine Charter to protect and revitalise the UK's ocean riches

Tom Hickey

12th November 2014

The 2009 Marine Act was meant to result in a full network of marine protected areas along the UK coast, writes Tom Hickey. But since then far too few MPAs have been created, and no real change or action has followed. Hence the launch of the Marine Charter today - to galvanise political will - and manifesto commitments - for the 2015 election. more...
Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust claims victory in the court of public opinion

The Ecologist

3rd November 2014

The Court of Appeal last month ruled that England's Badger cull is lawful despite the lack of independent supervision. But on the eve of a fresh Parliamentary debate, and with public opinion backing the badgers all the way, the Badger Trust is the clear winner where it really matters - in public hearts and minds. more...

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